Had one of the best 4th of July's ever. I was looking to get out of town for this 4th of July with the family and do some wild trout fishing and catch some fireworks all at the same time. So I did a little reconnaissance on where to go and found a great spot called Independence VA near Jefferson National Park. What better place to spend the 4th of July than a place called Independence Virginia. Since it was a last minute plan we opted for a hotel instead of camping since I didn't think we would find to many vacant spots for camping. So we made reservations at a local hotel in Independence.
We packed up all our gear and made the 2 hours drive and got into the hotel about 3:30 on Thursday (took the day off). We unpacked all our gear into the room and talked to the hotel desk about the fireworks and he said we were in the best spot because they were going to light them off in the ball field right below where we were at. That couldn't have worked out any better. Might make it an annual event after such a great trip. The whole town put on a parade and had good food and lots music. After finding a place to eat some grub and chowing down we headed out to scope some wild trout waters. With Delorme in hand and some info off the internet I found an area I wanted to try & fish. We drove down to the area but it was too close to campers to be any good so we just drove around scoping some spots for the future.
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One thing I noticed was how many horse campers there are in the Mt. Rogers area. This place is loaded with horse riders, just not a few but tons. Everywhere we went there were folks riding horses and camping out. With all the trails in this area it must be a huge draw for them. Never saw so many folks riding horses. The amount of trails and roads you can ride on has got to be the best I have ever seen. We drove for hours on these roads and some times you wouldn't see a soul for miles. Then you would see a group of horse riders out in the middle of nowhere camping. It was kinda neat to see it. We finally made it back to the hotel and we went to bed early because I wanted to get up early and get to my destination for fishing in the morning.
So we woke up at 6AM and got ready and had the continental breakfast...which wasn't half bad considering I figured I would get a white donut and a cup of coffee and call that breakfast. We chowed down some pancakes and fruit and hit the road to my stream.We hiked in about 2 miles on a fairly decent trail. Arriving at the start of the stream, I geared my rod up and proceeded to look around to see if there were any bugs. Since it was so early there wasn't much happening on top. I thought I would try a Tennessee wulff anyway with a dropper and see if there were any takers. The first pool had some fish but I spooked them off playing around with my son.....so onto the next one. After a little tree fishing and finally seeing some top water action I changed over to a caddis and started getting takers right off. These Rainbows were so skittish it was fun....hunting and fishing all in one. I proceeded to fish on up this stream with my wife and son on my right in what appeared to me to be path. Since I was wading in the water I had no idea that the path ended a few hundred yards up. So I see my son coming up behind me on the stream and wondering why. He said the path ended. So here we are thinking we are far out there in the middle of nowhere. So I recheck the map and about that time I hear voices....about a dozen. Here comes a slew of little carpet munchers just as loud and rambunctious as little kids are just come strolling into the stream right where I am fishing. It was too funny or I would have been mad....here we are thinking we are further up stream only to find the trail was on the other side of the stream and here comes a slew of kids.
I let the stream calm down for a bit and let them go ahead and then got back into fishing. This stream has some big boulders and the hiking was intense once on the stream, but it was well worth it. There were rainbows tucked all over this place, just waiting for my fly. I found a nice sized pool further up and as I reached the top I could look down on the pool and see some nice sized wild rainbows feeding on the surface so I eased down into the pool and introduced them to my attractor pattern. I did really good on this stream and caught nothing but Wild Rainbows. We saw a couple of wild owls while fishing and caught one on video. We started to hear the rolling thunder about 5PM and decided it was time to leave and start the hike back out. This was a great trip and I will be back again next year same time, same place.